It’s always an option that authors have at hand of having their readers search and download eBooks published by them from their own store, but here is a sample of some of the advantages and shortcomings that may have to experience.
Advantages of Selling Direct
The greatest obvious advantage is a higher royalty rate. One can earn a lot more than the 70% offered by most agents if you sell direct. On top of that, I can now directly serve readers who face higher charges internationally like as readers from the Amazon’s surge charge region or those who can’t buy from the major retailers, like most parts of Middle East, most of the Asia, and nearly the whole of Africa. It also provides a place to send readers who hate opening an account just to make to buy only one time, and also as an alternative when there are technical issues with their preferred stores as it happened with Kobo or even Smash words recently. With necessary permission it helps capture the email addresses of the readers, get paid faster than agents would, and to do lots more.
There are shortcomings of direct sale, nevertheless. It takes time to set-up and can cost you money, depending on the approach used. You have to deal with customers if anything goes wrong like getting a corrupted file or error in billing and this is not a very good experience as some customer may get personal. Some authors are also cautioned that this approach may lower their sales in the key market stores thus affecting their visibility and also their ranking in those online stores. To be honest though, that should not fear to cannibalize your sales at smaller stores. As it seems to bring most of the customers that search and download eBooks by you, so it’s logical for readers who are buying direct and make more per transaction.
As for Amazon, I don’t find my direct sales eating in the stores. The surprising majority of my sales there are customers that they bring to me, so I would not be able to divert them even if I wished to. It might cannibalize some of my international sales, especially in the surge charge region, but you only get about 35% on them so it works to your advantage to make people search and download eBooks from your store. Besides, it is known, though there is no proper record to prove it, that person will continue to search and download eBooks from their preferred stores. This is just an option for the few who may want to purchase directly. Another consideration is the tax percentage depending on where you live, and the applicable sales taxes. Selling consideration is the tax percentage able option for you depending on the tax level you may be exposed to by your local authorities since it’s a possibility to find sales taxes taking a good portion of the revenue from your direct sales reversing the earlier perceived benefit and also exposing you to possible lawsuits for failure to comply. On the other hand selling via a retailer, you are only liable to income tax.